tv Journalist Memorial Ceremony CSPAN May 18, 2013 8:35pm-9:11pm EDT
>> good morning. newseum.eo at the welcome to the newseum today for the rededication of the memorial. since it has opened in 2008, 3 million visitors have seen this memorial that paid tribute to 2444 journalists who have died covering the news. around the world, journalists placed themselves in danger every day. some are deliberately targeted. others get too close to danger. while some may be in the wrong place at the wrong time, most are professionals taking calculated risk. they pay with their lives for doing their jobs.
the memorial bears the names of reporters, photographers, editors, and others who have died in the line of duty. each year this dedication renews the newseum's commitment to make sure these brave journalists are remembered. this year we have the regrettable task of adding 88 new names to the memorial. 82 were killed in 2012. an additional 6 died in previous years and they are also being added to the memorial this morning. we welcome families, friends and colleagues to have traveled thousands of miles to join us this morning for the remembrance of their loved ones. we also welcome back the family and friends of journalists who were added to the memorial in previous years.
we thank you for helping us pay tribute. they are among democracies h roes. i would now like to introduce our vice chairman of the board he will introduce our very special guest speaker this morning. >> tom brokaw of nbc news came here two weeks ago for a program about our new jfk exhibit creating camelot. tom took the time to speak about two things. the first was to salute the career of his friend al neuharth, tom brokaw also took the time to speak of engel. despite that being a praise, it is an understatement.
richard is now the chief correspondent for nbc news. his face has become indelibly associated with 100,000 american viewers with coverage of the iraq war. with the arab spring and the tumultuous scenes in egypt, libya, and syria. he has 17 news and documentary emmys and is the winner of a special citation for his personal video diary of the iraq war. even these laurels do not get the full story of the self-madeu
ly one for the history books. winston churchill said history would be kind to him. he intended to write it. richard did the same. not that he needed any action kindness. -- extra kindness. he wrote his first book about his life before and after the iraq war. the book drew praise from chris matthews of msnbc, saying "this is hemingway country." he struggled with dyslexia. he went to stanford and then in a burst of intuition he decided to become a foreign correspondent by moving to cairo without really knowing a lick of arabic. he settled in a poor
neighborhood to help build a street from the ground up. instead of enjoying the lap of luxury, richard taught himself the culture and language bit by bit. he renders the common people of cairo with a maintenance and compassion. compassion. and we see him struggle with early newspaper gave in freelance pieces like some latter-day benjamin frankly. he finally wound up in jerusalem with abc news before nbc in 2003. his reporting from baghdad set the standard. he was the only american to cover it all. he tells this story and another book, which will be studied by historians decades from now.
at one point he notes the four psychological stages that all reporters go through while covering war zones. these four stages seem particularly relevant and poignant. stage one, i am invincible. nothing can hurt me. i am superman. stage two, what i'm doing is dangerous. i might get hurt over here. i better be careful. stage three, what i'm doing is really dangerous. i am probably going to get hurt over here no matter how careful i am. stage four, i have been here too long. i am going to die over here. it is just a matter of time. i have played the game too long.
last december the journalistic world held it's breath when brought word that maybe he had reached stage for m. appeared in syria, richard and his crew were taken captive. after five days they were free relatively unharmed. there is a rare thing when a war correspondent brings in the story. when he went back to syria in may, it is a story in the nation's capital and beyond. we both went and worked for abc. at a famous a news conference long ago, david brinkley was introduced to the network. we are in the presence of greatness. i commit to you today that we are also in the presence of greatness.
richard engel. thank you, richard. [applause] >> i am truly without words. that was too much. we are focusing not on me. i am very lucky i am still here. we are talking about the people who are on this list and thinking about their lives and what they did and why they did it. good morning. it is an honor to be here today. this is a somber task but one that is dearly important to me. our little tribe that goes through the war zones is getting smaller. we are being killed off.
like correspondents like marie colvin who are no longer with us. she was smart and funny and good at what she did. i remember her from everywhere. while it may seem there are many foreign correspondent running around the world bringing the news, there are not. the ones that last and stick it out are a small group. i remember marie as tripoli was falling and gaddafi was on the run and the city was not functioning. we found a hotel in the center of tripoli. it was an old arab mansion with a courtyard next to a famous statue. we decided to rent out the entire thing. there were shortages. phones and network.
there is very little food and water. there were gunmen everywhere. it was an exciting but chaotic time. we have taken this hotel and stockpiled it full of supplies, food and gasoline and generators. we have fresh fruit. tv people tend to know how to take care of ourselves. we put up the internet. one day marie and others came knocking on the door their radically to come see how we toe doing.-- theoretically see how we were doing. they wanted a meal. we let them in. we had a big dinner that night. everyone was having a lot of laughs and smiling. this is the most important thing. we were all in our element. we were there. we were among friends and probably the most important family that we got when we are on the road. anthony shadid was also there.
it was about a year later that marie was killed in syria in aleppo. i would like to acknowledge her family who are here tonight. if there are other relatives here, i am sorry. i did not know you. i apologize for not recognizing you personally. marie died after that iconic dinner about a year later. to give you an idea of how small this community is, i was on my way to the safe house that had just been attacked when i got the call saying it had just been bombed, marie has just been killed and remi ochlik also in safe house.ouse.--
we got the notice to not go. they are dead. syria has just been a horrible experience for the country, for our community, for the world. it is a war that took my friend anthony shadid. i think was probably the greatest arabist of our time. he was a national asset. what upsets me the most is that he was at the top of his game when he died. he had a new job. he had a wife. he had a new book. it still sits on my shelf. his work was finally being recognized. syria took him, too. these are greedy wars. they take and they get nothing back. -- give nothing back.
i knew them personally. most of the journalists killed in 2012 did not work for big news organizations. they lost their lives, many of them in places like somalia and syria. if you look at what is happening, we can understand why. somalia has not had a functioning government that is able to dominate all of its territory for decades. syria is the opposite. it had a very strong central government that is not -- now collapsing into anarchy. i understand why walking around trying to get stories can sometimes cause your lives. i was also held hostage in syria last december. as i sat there, i thought i was going to be added to this list.
i was lucky. after five unpleasant days, i got out. there was a gun battle and a rescue and i managed to escape. i was rescued and escapes. i returned to syria last week for the first time since being kidnapped. instead having my name added to this list, i have the honor of paying respect to my colleagues who did not make it. i would like to thank the newseum for that privilege. why do we do it? why do we take the risks? is it for fun, the adventure? is it for the money? there are easier ways of making a living. world. tensions build and snap. we go to where the cracks are, to see how the plates are
fitting together. we do this so innocent people have a voice. we show tv pundits that they are usually wrong. we decided this is what we want to do with our slice of time on this planet. there has been some controversy surrounding this event. i would like to address that. there have been some critics who oppose the inclusion of several people who were killed while working for a hamas run television stations that broadcast propaganda. there is a distinction. several people are not strictly journalists. but political activists who worked in the media. just because you're carrying a camera does not make you a journalist. the journalist has a responsibility to seek the truth no matter what it is. even if it hurts your cause. they should have principles and beliefs.
this is where it gets tricky. who gets to draw the line? several reporters or syrians who worked for media outlets that were actively trying to topple the regime. were they pure journalists? no. but they wanted to bring down a dictator with words and images and that dictator silenced them. they were speaking out against oppression. every year i look at the number of journalists killed and always seems to go up. i think it is because the media landscape is the coming so much more confusing. in world war ii won their only a handful of journalists. they wore uniforms at the time. more often than night they were tasked to document a military campaign.
the british army often called them officials i witnesses - eye witnesses. the uniforms are gone. it is hard to know who is fighting for what. every camera is a cell phone. today is somber. there is no other way of getting around it. there is another way of looking at all of this that is not quite so sad. i know a lot of journalists. i spent all my time basically with foreign correspondents in the field living in breathing the act of news gathering. none of them could think of doing anything else. they do not know how. they do not want to do anything else. the people we talked about died doing what they loved. anthony loved the middle east. marie loved her reporting. they died in their element.
they died in the line of duty. they should be celebrated and honored for that. thank you very much. [applause] >> the 88 individuals we honor here today were brought together in a fellowship none of them would have chosen. a fellowship created by their commitment, courage, and ultimately their sacrifice. they spoke different languages. they worked in different spheres
of news gathering. some of them were known to millions on the nightly news. some of them worked in anonymity. some reported from their own communities. some of them were on assignment far away from home. some of them new of pending danger. some of them were surprised. the common thread that united all of them was their commitment to journalism and the fact that they left us all too soon. if a journalistic mission is to shine light on places where there is darkness, then let the light that emanates from this memorial be a testament to the 80 journalists and the 2156 others whose company they jointoday. we will never forget them. in their memory and in support
of journalist working into the plus situations around the world, i will now read the 80 names of our colleagues who lost their lives and the country somewhere they report it. in bahraini amamhed. in bangladesh, jamal udin. in belgium, michael cornett. [ding] in brazil, ezekiel balbosa. [ding] [ding]o calvario. balerio louis de olivera.[ding] mario adolfo lopez.[ding]
in 1993 in south africa, jarlath dolan. in 2001 in ireland, austin finn. may we have a moment of silence for these brave men and women. thank you very much. >> this concludes our ceremony this morning. we thank you all very much for joining us today. richard, we thank you especially for your gracious and inspiring words. we ask that you please allow a few moments for the family members to place roses in front of the memorial in honor of their loved ones. thank you.
>> we are going to hold an facts on the next "washington journal", the political fallout from last week's news and how it could affect discussions on immigration reform. we will talk with jennifer bender a from -- bendery from "the huffington post." and discussion on the recent pentagon report on sexual assault in the military with the cofounder of the service women's action network. washington journal is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern on seat and. -- c-span.
how you feel about describing this and 30 seconds? >> i am going to make the attempt. imagine you had a yardstick and cut it into 10 equal uses, you go from something this big to that big are you dictate that remaining thing. 10 and to one. if you did this 10 times, you get to the size of the atom. that 35 times. we have no instruments to measure that. people like me have been working on a piece of mathematics called string theory and superstring theory to answer that question. tried. >> my wife is often asked by am ae who find out my -- i theoretical physicist, what does he actually do? her answer is, he makes up stuff for a living. that is sort of right. the way i tell my story the following. it'll know what a novelist does. he takes words and sentences and makes characters and create
stories. a theoretical physicist does the same thing. we use math to make up characters and tell stories. if we are really good at what we do, this corresponds to something that happens in nature. that clip that you saw a few moments ago was my attempt to boil down to a 32nd soundbite from aecond soundbite was try to explain. >> more with national medal of science recipient s. james gates, jr. sunday at 8:00 on "q&a." x amy goodman was part of a panel on the media's coverage of war at the free press conference on media reform. this is about 90 minutes. >> i want to welcome you all to the session on independent journalism on war conflict and human rights. i will introduce our
extraordinary panel shortly. i am just common, the founder of andmedia watch group fair the center of the park group for independent media at ithaca college. each string at ithaca we give out an annual award for outstanding achievement. , the after izzy stone izzy award. in 12 days we will do so the izzy award on the fifth annual winner, the nonprofit news outlet mother jones. it rogues story after story last year, including the now , 47% of mitt romney american voters are moochers undercover video. [applause] some of you know, i spent years as a political pundit on mainstream television, cnn, fox, e. i was outnumbered, out shouted